SAN ANTONIO – Buying booze before noon on Sundays in Texas is currently a no-no but that could change soon.
Senate Bill 585 just cleared the chamber and is on its way to the Texas House of Representatives for a vote. It needs to be passed by a majority of the representatives there before it heads to the governor’s desk for a signature.
The bill would allow retailers like grocery and convenience stores to sell beer and wine starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays instead of noon. This bill does not affect the prohibition-era ban on the sale of spirits on Sundays.
Current law states that grocery retailers and gas stations are still allowed to sell beer and wine on Sundays, but not before noon.
SB 585′s author Sen. Drew Springer said in a statement of intent that modernization of Texas alcohol laws would benefit distributors and restaurants that specialize in breakfast cuisine as well as help boost revenue and economic activity for the state.
Another bill, House Bill 937, was introduced during the 87th legislative session by Texas Representative Richard Raymond in February and that bill would allow Texans to purchase liquor 7 days a week.
Most Texans are aware that the Texas alcoholic beverage code prohibits the sale of liquor on Sundays - a rule that dates back to 1935 when, according to the Dallas Morning News, the Texas Legislature passed the Texas Liquor Control Act in response to the repeal of Prohibition.
The majority of these “blue laws,” as they are sometimes referred to, were abolished in 1985. These laws limited the sale of certain goods on Sundays but both liquor and car sales are still not allowed on Sundays, according to the Texas Tribune.
Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day are all on the naughty list when it comes to liquor sales - meaning you can’t buy any on those days.
However, if Christmas or New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday, the liquor ban applies to the Monday immediately following. HB 937 also seeks to remove that caveat from Texas law.
If HB 937 passes it would also expand the hours for alcohol sales from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Current Texas law stipulates that liquor sales are allowed from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
According to the Distilled Spirits Council, 38 states and the District of Columbia allow some form of off-premise retail sales of spirits on Sundays.